Ethically leading public hospitals in Pakistan: Do leaders influence commitment, citizenship and counterproductive workplace behaviours?


  • M. Faisal RMIT University, Australia
  • P. Stanton RMIT University, Australia
  • M. Muchiri RMIT University, Australia
  • J. Shao Monash University, Australia


The ability to influence followers to behave ethically continues to gain research attention, in part due to recent corporate misconduct by organisational leaders. Accordingly, this study sought to understand how ethical leadership manifests within the public health sector of Pakistan. Using data gathered from doctors and nurses drawn from public hospitals in Pakistan, the study examines how ethical leadership impacts employees’ positive attitude and behaviour, characterised by affective commitment (AC) and organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB), as well as employees’ negative behaviour, characterised by counterproductive work behaviour (CWB). Findings from the analysis of 269 responses, using structural equation modelling, indicate that ethical leadership had significant direct and indirect effects on the criterion variables. Ethical leadership had a significant relationship with AC, OCB and CWB. Affective commitment mediated the relationship between EL and OCB. Thirdly, surprisingly, all the other proposed relationships involving CWB were insignificant. Based on the findings, the paper proposes recommendations.
Keywords: Ethical leadership, affective commitment, organisational citizenship behaviour, counterproductive workplace behaviour, public health care, Pakistan